The Pure Box

By Colin Nea

Nine comments

Colin Nea: The Pure Box

I bought this CD 3 weeks ago when I was staying overnight in Clifdon in West Galway. It was €8 and has some great tunes. I never heard of Colin Nea before but for €8 you can’t go wrong. And indeed I didn’t because he is a fantastic player. Among his influences are Ellen Comerford, John Keenan, Joe Finn and Paddy O‘Brien (Tipperary). He has a style similar to that of Paddy O’Brien and plays a lot of Paddy O‘Brien tunes on this album. There are plenty of tunes here with known composers. Among the composers are: Josephine Keegan, Paddy O’Brien, Paddy Kelly, Seamus Walshe, Sean Ryan, Colin himself (Life Begins at 25), Father PJ Kelly and Martin Mulhaire.

There is great drive on the album and Colin is joined by Joe Meehan on guitar (all tracks) and Joe Finn (Pipes) and Aidan McMahon (Fiddle) on selected tracks. I would reccomend this album to anyone looking for solid tunes, great drive and fantastic box playing.


From the sleeve notes:

"I was born in Castletown Geoghegan, Co. Westmeath, an area well renowned for Traditional Irish music in the midlands.

I began playing the accordion at the age of 12. I was taught by Ellen Comerford from Cappincur, Co. Offaly - a very well known name in accordion music and a member of the famous Bridge Ceili Band. I learned a number of tunes from a local musician, John Keenan and some of his music is featured in this recording.

I joined the Silver Spear Ceili Band in 1988 and played at numerous venues throughout Ireland and the UK. As a result, I met Joe finn from Clara in Co. Offaly, who was the flute player in the band and from Joe I learned a great deal about traditional irish music.

I toured America and Canada with Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann in 1992 and the following year I won the All Ireland senior button accordion championship. I retained this title in 1994 before retiring from competition. I would say the biggest influences on my music would be Ellen Comerford, the late John Keenan, Joe Finn and the late Paddy O’Brien from Co. Tipperary.

I hope you will have great enjoyment from this album.

Colin Nea

I hadn’t heard of Colin either, but met him at O’Connor’s in Doolin in June. He was playing with Christy Barry on a Saturday and graciously gave this box player a few tips on left hand work. Thank’s Colin for the tunes and the help.

’mon Westmeath!!

Just shows that the music lives and breathes in Westmeath also!!!!

I haven’t heard this CD, but I am trying to track down the ‘New Phone hornpipe’ which is on it. Unfortunately it is one of the tracks not transcribed. Does anyone know its provenance by any chance? Knowing who wrote it might help.

“The New Phone”

According to yer man’s sleeve notes :
“The New Phone” was played by “The Bridge Ceili Band” when they won the “All-Ireland” Ceili Band title in 1995."
I’ve just listened to it, and don’t recognise it, but if no-one else does, I’ll have a go at transcribing it for you, but it may be a while before I get round to it.


I noticed that , “JT”. Many thanks for saving me the trouble !

Re: The Pure Box

The very last tune is mistakenly attributed to Martin Mulhaire. It is “Eleanor Kane’s” by Ed Reavy, and published in his book “Where The Shannon Rises”.